T Nation

Mike Tyson Biopic - Jamie Foxx


#1

So I was reading an article online the other day in which Jamie Foxx said he's really pushing to get a Mike Tyson biopic done, in the vein of michael mann's Ali. He's looking at reuniting with the director of Ray, and wants to play Mike Tyson himself.

Initially I sort of scoffed at the idea of Foxx playing iron mike, but then I thought about it for a second, foxx, despite being a douchebag, is a very talented actor, and if he could get up to a lean 220lbs, I could see him pulling it off.

Mike Tyson's life is definitely movie material, but I'm curious as to how they'd tackle certain issues in Mike Tyson's life - namely the rape charge and subsequent imprisonment. There are many who believe Tyson was wrongly convicted, and there is certainly some evidence to suggest so, but to represent this in the film would cause a lot of controversy.

At any rate, I'd definitely like to see this, especially if it turns out anything near the quality of Ali.


#2

Eh. Jamie Fox isn't bad enough to play Tyson. You'd need someone a lot tougher. He wouldn't be believable at all to me.

I just picture him crying as Bundini in Ali.

You would need someone like Mr. T for Tyson .... like Clubber Lang.


#3

Agreed. Honestly can't think of anyone off the top who'd do Tyson justice, and not sure how many 200lb 8th graders there are out there to play him when he was discovered by D'Amato.

Also, why'd you say Foxx is a douchebags Dave?


#4

Just the sheer number of incidences I've read about involving him and his massive ego. I suppose to some degree you could say the same about every movie star, but it certainly seems like he has a reputation for being egotistical


#5

Foxx is a fine actor so he's as good as the next man to play the part. Getting a good director and script is going to be a bigger issue.

Besides, he's the absolute spit of Mike Tyson, and there's not too many people you can say that about. Except for Will Smith, Samuel L. Jackson, Morgan Freeman, Nelson Mandela...


#6

Foxx could pull it off IMO. So far he's shown good range and I don't think Tyson's character is beyond his abilities.

Not that big of a fan of the comedy though, but I gotta say one of the 'incidents' Davo is talking about, where he roasts the fuck out of a certain black comedian, was pure gold.


#7

Agreed.

Many people balked at the idea of the fresh prince of bel air playing Muhammad Ali, but he pulled it off amazingly well.

If he does manage to get the director of Ray on board, you can tick off the good director box. Script is therefore the singular biggest issue. Foxx has mentioned anything that does come about won't be focused on Tyson's attempts at redemption, so that makes me curious how the film ends. Ending on a bitter note/downfall isn't something a lot of movies, biopics especially, attempt to do.


#8

I think Foxx would do a better job as Tyson then Smith as Ali. While Smith resembled him I just didn't find him all that believable, Ali seemed to have more charisma where Smith seemed to fallback on his acting as a rapper career.

Foxx has played drastically different characters I don't think Tyson would be that much of a stretch for him. I just know while doing the movie he would want to crack a joke at some point. I can see him fighting himself from doing it.


#9

I didn't find Will Smith to be the right fit for Ali at all. And I'm 27, which means I grew up with the Fresh Prince and all his movies - I really do respect and like the guy.

But he was not believable. His manner of talking was forced throughout the whole movie, he couldn't speak with the same rhythm and fluidity that Ali spoke with naturally.

And, unfortunately, when you're a real, true boxing fan, so much of a fighter comes out when they're in the ring - and Ali's style was impossible to replicate for the camera. Only he could do it. Although I must say the movie did a great job of staying "true" to the punches that were thrown and the rounds and all that.

The Micky Ward movie was the same way - Wahlberg did well as Mick throughout the film, but when it came to the fight scenes, well, Wahlberg is a trained boxer now - and he fights in a totally different way than Mick, with a different style, with his hands held differently and different movement.... the style a guy cracks with is just one of those things that really becomes unique to him, and watching movies try to replicate it is tough.

That's why Rocky did so well - they weren't TRYING to replicate anyone or anything exactly, but it ended up that Sly came off more like Marciano and Weathers came off more like Ali than anyone I have seen ever.


#10

Actually, Weathers played Ali WAY better than Smith if you think about it.


#11

I don't think they would ever base their movie on ring work unless the movie was at least 50%in the ring. I think they are looking more at the effect of the fight on the audience then how the boxer looks in the ring. That would be way too complicated unless they did a reallife/acting splice, or CGI. They would need all kinds of visual effects to create the speed and power Tysons early uppercuts and side to side movement had.


#12

They have tried. Ali especially, they tried to have Will Smith replicate him

But then, what's the point of making a movie about Tyson if you're not going to show the indomitable physical characteristics, and that absolute unrelenting brutality that he had in the ring.

They really should just show clips or splice them. Because without that intensity, that frightening power, he's just another boxer.

Really.... watch this, and tell me who the fuck is gonna intimidate like he did, who's going to move and react in any similar way? People still remember Tyson's fights well, and anything that doesn't do them justice is going to be brushed off.


#13

It's interesting you say this Irish, because while I do agree that every boxer inherently develops his own unique style, I really thought the job they did in Ali was incredible, helped in no small part by the fact they were actually hitting each other, which I don't think had been done in any other film before.

Honestly thought Smith's performance as Ali was very spot on.

However, I definitely agree about The Fighter. Whalberg's style was nothing like Wards.


#14

Gonna agree with Irish again. Outside of maybe Foreman, there has never been anyone as physically intimidating as (a young) Tyson. Not Liston, not Dempsey, not Jack Johnson, no one. You're talking about a 5'10" gator armed ball of muscle with speed and power that hasn't been seen before or since.

I will say that Foxx does resemble Tyson in the face, but I don't think he had the intensity or depth to do Tyson justice. Actually, I'm not sure anyone not named Mike Tyson does. Maybe they should just rerelease old training, fight and press conference footage in a 2hr format. I'd pay 10 bucks to see that.


#15

And Dave, I'd never heard that about Foxx but it doesn't surprise. Getting paid monopoly money to play make believe would probably warp anyone's sense of reality.


#16

On the subject of Mike Tyson... this shit made me laugh. Tyson got a sense of humor now... he seems a lot happier than he was.


#17

Everything FighinIrish has written is spot on.

Even so Fox is a good choice and I will state why:

They already HAVE my money. Really, how am I not going to watch a Mike Tyson movie? Its going to happen. They have my theater dollars. If the movie is completely mis-cast, I mean mis-cast on the level of having Cus D'Amato played by Samual Jackson and having Robin Givens be a tough, kind hearted, ninja who kicks Mikes ass Crouching Dragon Wire Fighting style, the worst it goes is Red Box.

My dollars are locked up. Jamie Foxx brings in dollars from the casual boxing fans/non-fans. I have friends who will watch a Foxx-Tyson movie the same way they watched Will "He was awesome in everything but Wild Wild West" Smith as Ali. They will do it because they like Will Smith, and they should. He is great. I forgive him Wild Wild West and the abortion that was I AM LEGEND.

Regards,

Robert A

Fuck it. I would still at least rent it even if they had Buster Douglas played by Tom Cruise.


#18

How the fuck do you pitch chasing a bunch of girls INTO a hotel room to Mike Tyson?

I am guessing over the phone.

Regards,

Robert A


#19

Solid posts Robert. I actually LOL'd twice.

I've never liked a boxing scene I've seen in a movie. Not Ali, not raging bull not nothin'. I'm not sure if it's even doable. Re-creating all the skill, thought and nuance that goes into a boxing match may be beyond the preserve of cinema.

Also, Foxx is the fucking spit of the g-man, Gerald McClellan. Why not do a movie about a really fucking interesting boxer that nobody knows anything about?


#20

I actually thought Rocky I did a really good job.

Carl Weathers was really, really smooth, and he had pretty fast hands for a friggin actor. He had good balance and he really fought in a way that was similar to Ali.

And Sly, I thought, did an INCREDIBLE job showing the awkward power of a heavyweight southpaw back then.

And then it all sucked with Rocky II.